10 Quirky Facts: A Crash Course on Haley, JDate’s Newest JBlogger

by Haley Plotnik under JBloggers,Relationships,Single Life

Hello JDaters! My name is Haley, and I am excited to share my experiences as a young, single, Jewish woman navigating the dating scene with you. As a lover of lists, I’ll dive right in.

  1. I’m about to finish my B.S. in chemical engineering. It is NOT an easy major, but I like a challenge.
  2. I love cooking myself a healthy dinner every night. I’m a big fan of veggies, and I’m a little bit obsessed with experimental Crock Pot cooking.
  3. I’m a cardio enthusiast. I started running 5Ks in November 2013.
  4. I really want a pet (once I stop moving every 3 to 9 months and I can afford vet bills).
  5. My Bat Mitzvah was just under 10 years ago. This my subtle way of telling you how old I am.
  6. I am a practical person and a minimalist. There are 0 articles of clothing on my floor, and I’m currently packing up to move.
  7. I am trying to live in as many places as possible before I pick a place to live permanently.
  8. I live 2000 miles away from my nuclear family.
  9. I am the youngest in my family, but I am by NO means spoiled.
  10. I’ve been single for over a year. I’m a relationship type of girl, but I’m not wallowing in my singleness by any means. For me, being single is a time to reflect on what is important to me.  I think a lot about how I can move forward into more successful future endeavors. I try to continually improve myself, and I think it is important that my match has a similar mentality (or I may drive them crazy). Through my dating and relationship experiences over the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about the type of person I want to end up with. My friends keep trying to set me up with “fixer uppers,” but my resolve to only date “marriage-quality” men is strong enough that a 6-pack no longer speaks to me the same way it did when I was 19. Even though marriage is far off for me, I am often reminded that I’m not getting any younger. I appreciate the encouragement, but I am patient. I have several friends tying the knot in the next few months, but I am a firm believer in the “compare and despair” philosophy. Who knows? Maybe my feminist Jewish boyfriend is just around the corner. And maybe he’ll even want to be a stay-at-home dad in the future. A girl can dream, right?

Single Parents Singled Out

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

As you get older you will begin to find more and more single parents popping up in your JDate searches. Just after college and through your 20’s, you probably will prefer not to date someone with a child. For some people it’s because they are just not ready to deal with the commitment that comes with a “package deal” and for others they may simply want to date someone who doesn’t have any “restrictions.” The reasons don’t matter, you have to make the decision for yourself and mark on your profile whether you are willing to date someone with a kid or not, or don’t have a preference.

In your 30’s and 40’s, the number of single parents on JDate rises (and in your 50’s it is even more prevalent). And when those single parents log on to JDate, it is a major bummer to see prospect after prospect choosing the “I don’t want to date someone with children” option. It is what it is and any parent will tell you their child is a blessing — and those failed prospects are the ones missing out. Hopefully, as JDaters get older, they will revise their preferences and realize they are cutting out a huge chunk of great prospects all because they are weary of someone with a child.

Post-It Notes

by Tamar Caspi under JDate,Relationships

Take a pad of post-it notes. Write down all of the things you want in a mate on the notes; one item per note. Stick the notes on a mirror, stare at them, think about them. As soon as you realize there is a trait you can live without, take the post-it note off the mirror and throw it away. Keep crumbling up post-it notes and tossing them in the trash like a basketball drill. Take satisfaction from making a basket. OK, now focus back on the mirror. Now that you’ve gotten the post-it notes down to single digits, try to put them in order as to what is most important to you. It may not be 1 thru 9, it could be three-tiered, but prioritize. What traits are you willing to negotiate and compromise on? Pare the notes down as far as possible and then go back and edit your JDate profile to reflect the exercise you just did.

I talk about figuring out what is important to you in a mate often and that’s because it’s not only important, but it’s also an incredibly difficult task. My list had 75 items on it, but once I put it on a spreadsheet and gave the items a numerical value, the few that ended up being worth the maximum of 10 points were the only ones that mattered. You probably aren’t willing to give up chemistry right? Of course not. But at the end of the day, does it really matter if someone is 37 when you didn’t want someone over 35? Nope!

Next Success Story

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I am having difficulty meeting men in the city of Boynton Beach, FL where I live and I’m not a barfly.  So, I’m turning to JDate for a little help. I have been divorced for 5 years now and am definitely ready to be your next success story! Could you please give me any helpful advice/tips on how to make this a successful dating experience?  Do I need to make the first move?  Should something in my profile be changed? I would appreciate ANY advice/help to make this successful and a fantastic experience.  I will be joining within the next couple days. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you in advance for your help!

Dear Next Success Story,

I appreciate your eagerness to seek help. I know you’re not a barfly but find out when there’s going to be JDate event in your area for starters. Be honest about your divorce both on JDate and on dates but don’t give too much information too soon. Keep the details to a care minimum. Once you create your profile, go through all of your matches and start using the tools to Flirt! and so on in order to let the guys know you’re interested. Make sure you’re preferences are realistic but not too narrow. I think you’re enthusiasm will help you land a lot of dates quickly!

Major Conundrum

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

Major conundrum – I’m 41, not yet married, still would like to have a family but the odds are not looking good. I’ve received 4 emails in 5 months. I email women, they don’t have the courtesy to even respond with a thank you or no thank you. Then you’re left to wonder if they are a member and can read the emails or not. Some women aren’t even posting photos! Any insight?

Dear Major Conundrum,

Keep sending out emails and don’t let the ones who don’t respond (or don’t post photos) get to you. It’s not personal. Only worry about what you can control such as: what are you saying in your emails? How long or short are they? Are you commenting and asking about the women or just talking about yourself? How does your profile come across? Are the photos up to date and flattering? Does your About Me say that you’re “41, not married but still holding out hope that you’ll have a family” or does it say “I’m losing hope that I’ll never have a family since I’m 41 and still single”? Don’t let your frustration come across in your profile. Are your preferences broad and realistic?

As for not hearing back from women you’re emailed, it’s not nice and I’ve written about it before. People should at least write back “thanks but no thanks” if they are paid members and can read their email. But most don’t. Why? Because it’s awkward rejecting someone. So just shake it off and move forward. JDate has the numbers in your favor, so keep emailing because the more emails you send the more replies you’ll receive.

New Profile Format Help!

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I’ve belonged to JDate for many years, but the format has definitely changed.  I am 75 and want to see men 75-79.  HOW DO I GO ABOUT THIS???

Dear New Profile Format Help!,

It always takes me time to get used to new formats. It took me months to stop noticing and getting annoyed by the new Facebook and Twitter formats so I’m sure it’s frustrating when your favorite dating website changes things on you. But don’t fret, I’m here to help! First, take some time to explore the new site. Play with different levers: change your preferences, fill out the Color Code personality quiz, use the Click!® and Flirt features, send messages, play Secret Admirer or answer the fun trivia questions and so on. You have a realistic age range, so then be flexible and tinker with the other categories. Most importantly, be patient while you adjust to the new format.

Priorities, Ideals and Traits, Oh My!

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

What are you looking for when you’re perusing JDate? Looks? Age? Education?  Success? And how strict are you about those ideals? I’ll tell you that the more flexible you are about what’s important to you the faster and easier you’ll be impressed.

My friend Julie cares about where a guy went to college and how many years he graduated in and what he majored in. If I were a guy I wouldn’t meet Julie’s standards because it took me five years to graduate from UCLA and I majored in Women’s Studies. She admitted that she wouldn’t even have dated Steven Spielberg because he never did graduate from Long Beach State (okay, okay, he eventually received an honorary degree). At a certain point all these silly ideals need to disappear. I guess Julie isn’t desperate enough to meet someone yet because when you are truly ready to meet your Beshert you’ll put your superficial wants aside and focus on the truly important stuff. Intelligence is important, but level of education maybe shouldn’t be.

Am I attracted to my husband and do I think he’s dashingly handsome? Sure. But that alone wasn’t going to get us this far. He had to have other, more important traits to get us to where we are today. He respects me, loves his parents, is nice to strangers on the street, is smart, is hysterically funny and we have a lot in common. In addition, we have a lot that we don’t have in common which makes life a lot more interesting. We enjoy watching American Idol together but I’ve had to learn to love the Dallas Mavericks. And to top it all off we have great conversations. Looks fade but you’re going to have to talk to your spouse for the rest of your life!

So make your list – goodness knows I had mine! – but be able to adjust and appreciate what’s right in front of you.

What Else Can I Do?

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I need help.
I have already added new photos, rewritten the “About Me,” the “Ideal” and “First Date” and “What I am Looking For.” I have changed the different search preferences many times and the same members are still coming up. I’ve even tried long distance but they did not work.
Here is the thing: I am allergic to cats, so I would think that a person who likes cats would not be a good match. I want children, so I would think that a person who doesn’t want kids would not be a good match. I do not drink or smoke, so I don’t think I would be a match with someone who does.
So what can I do?

Dear What Else Can I Do?

It sounds like you’re doing everything right (in theory) but you are frustrated and I wouldn’t be surprised if your frustration is coming across on dates or in your profile. Dating is a waiting game and patience is the most important skill in the field. I would have a trusted, honest friend review your profile. As you learn more about yourself and what you’re looking for you need to change your profile, it’s not something you can or should just do once.

In addition, you should be open to differences. I understand the cat allergy thing and kid thing and even the smoking thing, but would it really matter if someone liked to have a glass of wine? I always said that I would never date a smoker and then I married one. He’s quit smoking since, but I figured if that’s his only negative trait then I could learn to live with it. You’ve got to be flexible in dating, it’s not a mark of desperation but rather a show of maturity.

The best part is: You’re looking for help and you want to better your dating persona. Keep working on broadening your preferences, constantly updating your pictures and profile, and becoming more patient in the process.


by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

My friend Jenny turned 30 a few weeks ago and has found herself locked out of the dating game. Her JDate profile no longer shows up on many men’s pages because their age preference ends at 29. When she checks out guys she looks at their preferences only to find out she matches them… all except for age.

I figure if you’ve taken the time, money and effort to create a profile on JDate then why not make your chances of meeting someone as high as possible. A guy who meets Jenny at a party and finds out that she fulfills all his preferences accept that she’s no longer in her twenties is not going to reject her but will instead make an exception – so why systematically reject her online before you’ve even given her a chance?

If you expand your age range too wide there will be less of a chance of having a connection based on where you are in your life and the things you’ve already experienced, or are yet to experience. Any narrower and you’re lessening your chance of finding your Beshert by eliminating thousands of prospects by selecting just one year less.

I told Jenny that eventually the ignorance of these men will change because they’re going to find themselves continuing to be single on their next birthday and then having to up their age limit – at which point Jenny will be included in their searches… at least until her next birthday.

Hit or Miss

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Dear Tamar,

I am an attractive, independent young woman. I have been on JDate for well over a year. I hardly get any “hits,” and often when I go out on a limb and make the first move to contact a man, I get no response back. I have had male friends comb through my profile and photos to see if there is any glaring reason as to why men don’t contact me, and they, too, can’t understand! I’m often asked by intelligent and handsome men (albeit non Jewish men) why I am single, I get cat calls and looks when walking down the street, and all of the truckers wink at me when I am driving… so why do I have so much trouble attracting men online? I just don’t understand. Maybe you can enlighten me…am I doing something wrong???

Dear Hit or Miss,

I’m sorry you’re not having a good experience thus far on JDate, but I do believe that together we can turn it around for you. Even though you’ve had male friends vet your profile, I would recommend starting from scratch: new profile name, new photos, new blurbs and even adjusted preferences. It doesn’t matter what your friends think at this point because you haven’t gotten any hits, so you need a total profile makeover. Hide your profile and then spend the next few weeks taking new photos of yourself, spend some time jotting down new name ideas and sit down to make a realistic list the qualities you want your ideal mate to have. Once you’re ready, un-hide your profile and start “Click!”-ing your matches so the men know you’re interested. Before you unveil your new profile, remember to shake off your past experience and don’t let it haunt your future.